Friday 16 August 2019 12:03 pm

DEBATE: Do the students who have just got their A-levels have less to look forward to than past generations?

Charlotte Gill is a freelancer writer.
and Alex Deane

Do the students who have just got their A-levels have less to look forward to than past generations?

Charlotte Gill, a freelance writer, says YES.

A-level results day is one of the most joyous occasions of the year, reminding us of how much talent the UK has. But among the fanfare remains an awful fact: that even the pupil with straight A*s may find it hard to prosper in the country that educated them.

Yes, employment is up, but other economic conditions have declined since the 2008 recession, which deeply harmed the prospects of my generation. The spiralling housing crisis will leave a third of young people unable to ever buy a home, degrees are being devalued while saddling students with debt, and while jobs may be plentiful, stable and reliable careers are increasingly hard to come by.

These factors have all contributed to the UK’s dwindling birth rate, as few can afford to start their own families.

Some will say that young people are lucky, and that the Blitz was worse. It’s true, of course, but we are now a safe, economically successful country. How is it normal that our young are crippled by rent and debt?

Politicians must wake up. The A-level generation deserves better than the future that awaits.

Alex Deane, a Conservative commentator, says NO.

Life expectancy in this country is at an all-time high. The quality of that life is ever-improving, with armed conflict an ever-smaller part of the population’s experience, and technology and modern medicine doing things which our forefathers would have regarded as miracles.

More people are in work than ever before, with unemployment at a generational low (and contrary to lefty mythmakers, they’re overwhelmingly full-time jobs, too). Opportunities beckon – many of which will be in newly created industries and ways of life we can’t even imagine today.

Given these facts, it takes a particularly skewed, miserable, snowflaky, “woke” vision of the world to even suggest that the next generation are anything other than the luckiest generation to ever walk the Earth.

And the Brits among them are lucky enough to have a post-Brexit, independent country trading with the whole world and liberated from the shackles of the sclerotic EU to live and thrive in, too.

Main image credit: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.